Unable to raise the entry fee, Paul Hinman drops out of UCP leadership race almost as soon as he dropped in

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PHOTOS: Would-be/won’t-be UCP leadership candidate Paul Hinman, gone from the contest after the shortest Alberta leadership campaign in living memory, your blogger’s anyway. Below: Jason Kenney and Andy Warhol.

Talk about a Minute Man!

Paul Hinman, the former Wildrose Alliance leader who ran his flag up the virtual flagpole on Monday with his announcement he was running for the leadership of Alberta’s United Conservative Party, had failed to raise the required $95,000 entry fee by 5 p.m. yesterday.

In other words, no one saluted. His campaign is finished, over, done like dinner. Radio stations were reporting he was out of the race he was never really in 10 minutes after UCP nominations had closed.

Mr. Hinman says he raised about half of the sum, presumably not all of it in the 48 hours he was formally campaigning, but still not a bad tally for a guy with zero chance of winning. It may even be a world fund-raising record if he can get an international accounting firm to back up his claim.

He also says it gave him a chance to get some of his issues on the radar. Fair enough. There may have been a shorter political campaign in Alberta history, but surely never one that generated as much publicity. So Mr. Hinman has now successfully provided compelling evidence almost anyone can achieve the late celebrity artist Andy Warhol’s oft-repeated prediction of the planetary future, in which “everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”

OK, maybe not world famous, exactly, and maybe not for a full 15 minutes, but close enough for a guy to advocate stirringly for recall elections – a cause that nobody likely to actually get elected is going to be interested for more than, well, about 15 minutes after any election they win.

The former Mormon missionary and avowed social conservative will now disappear from Alberta’s political radar, probably for the rest of his life. His campaign website may linger for a few hours longer.

But don’t breathe easy. Mr. Hinman is not the only extreme social conservative in the race, and the other one is likely to win. That would be Jason Kenney. More about him another day.

Categories Alberta Politics